By CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Tough economy forces many people to take advantage of free services in their community.
The Salvation Army is one of those places seeing an increase in turnout, but they need your support when it comes to helping those in need.
Melissa Faulkner and her husband moved to Southeast Missouri with their four children, after shutting down their business in California.
At first they counted on the Salvation Army for food and other essentials.
Then, Faulkner says a job opened up.
"I been working through the Salvation Army Thrift Store for about a month and a half so we got some income, you know to put our feet on the ground finally and start moving forward," said Faulkner.
The young mother says that inspired her to give back to the people who helped get her back on her feet.
Any given day you'll see her volunteering at the Salvation Army kitchen, helping feed the hungry.
"When I'm not doing anything, I see no reason to sit at home," she explains.
Major Beth Stillwell at the Cape Girardeau Salvation Army branch says she appreciates volunteers like Faulkner.
She says the tough economy has forced more people to get in line for help.
"We always see the need, and more so with middle class people that have never been through our doors before."
Stillwell, says reaching out to those folks is tougher still, with volunteers cutting back on hours as they look for ways to make money themselves.
"Some people are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet, so the hours are maybe not there for them to come," said Stillwell.
Stillwell appreciates volunteers like Melissa more than ever, but Faulkner points out, she's just returning the favor.
"This is our home. If we're not at home, we're here," said Faulkner.